For many college students, their 20s are a time to enjoy, relax and live life without worries. However, it is critical that health and fitness are also a priority during these years, and that students set up habits that can be carried throughout life.
In order to get the most out of the college experience, Chris Aumentado, senior kinesiology major, said he has found a way to weave fitness into his personal lifestyle. He said he believes in the power of a healthy lifestyle and encourages others to not view it as a chore.
“Don’t make it a diet,” Aumentado said. “That’s the one thing that makes it all crumble. Make it a lifestyle choice because you’ll end up enjoying it more. If you do it right, you’ll fall in love with it because it is natural and our bodies crave it.”
Aumentado began his journey back in high school when he decided he wanted to live a better, healthier life. He said his hope is to inspire and help others make healthy life decisions.
“I just wanted to make a better person out of myself,” Aumentado said. “ What creates a different person is a willingness to step out of his or her box and try something else.”
Changing old habits can be hard but Dr. Jan Edmisten, professor of kinesiology, and director of the Physical Therapist Assistant program and a mentor to Aumentado, suggests the best form of motivation is the accountability of a support group. She said she believes health and fitness while young is important as it helps develop lifelong habits.
A common excuse for neglecting health is that there is no time — with people often citing other responsibilities taking priority over fitness.
Leslie Monique Perry, Recreation Center personal trainer and wellness intern, said in an email response that she also found herself in a similar position until she began
seeing the value of working out regularly.
Perry urges students to visit choosemyplate.gov, which she said has a variety of tips and ways to eat healthy as a college student.
With so much information about health and fitness in the U.S. media, it is important to remember to have the right support group to help in this learning process.
Aumentado said he believes keeping an open mind is what keeps one moving forward.
“The hardest part was getting over the barrier of being sore and the state of mind,” Aumentado said. “It is definitely a war of mind over matter.”